I have had many people DM me on Instagram to ask about what we do as part of our bedtime routine with our kids. I think they ask in hopes that it might help them with their children’s sleep patterns as both of our kids have slept really well at night since the beginning (well at least so far for Everton – knock on wood!). I have worked with Playtex Baby™ in the past so when they asked me if I am a mom who values the importance of reading with my kids, I didn’t even hesitate to say YES! We include reading in our bedtime routine EVERY night and think it’s one of the most important parts of it. Playtex Baby™ also understands the importance of reading with your little ones and right now is offering a #PlaytexReads Promotion of $5 off any toddler book and Playtex product (Diaper Genie, Diaper Genie bag refills, Sipster cups, bottles, drop in liners for bottles, etc.!) when purchased together on Amazon. Click here for more information and use the code ‘PLAYTEXREADS‘ at checkout to receive the discount.
For Everton’s routine in particular, we change his diaper, then put a onesie on him as well as his sleep sack. I then nurse him in a quiet, dark setting. When he is finished eating, I transfer him into his playard for the night, turn on the sound machine and shut off the lights. Not much to it.
With Ems on the other hand, since she was about a year old we have kept our same bedtime routine for her, with of course some minor tweaks along the way (such as adding in a bathroom break). We are super consistent in what we do despite who’s doing it and because of this, I believe it has taught her that once the routine begins, it means it’s time for bed.
We typically put Ems down for the night around 7-7:30 pm and leave about half an hour before for her entire bedtime routine which also includes a quick clean up of any toys she’s played with during the day. I am not shy in admitting that I NEED a clean house so we have taught Ems from the time she could help that we always clean up behind ourselves; just like mom and dad do. I think modelling this and teaching it at a young age has helped reduced the battles that can be associated with it, as most days Ems LOVES to clean up. My hubby and I enjoy our alone time together in the evenings once the kids are in bed and if I am sitting in my family room staring at a sea of toys it does not feel like adult time!
We have never done a bath every night with Miss Lace as we used to go out lots in the evenings when it was just her and didn’t have the time to always do it. I was also worried about drying out her skin in our cold climate and instead stuck to doing it every second night. Once baby brother came into the picture we now do bath time together every second day and at random times of the day, just depending when it’s best for his schedule.
After Ems cleans up, we head upstairs and go to her bathroom. I always bring along her PJs and a diaper with me (she is potty trained in the day but still wears one at night). Once in the bathroom, I reduce the distractions by closing the door which also keeps her contained (she’s known to run at times!). She then chooses if she wants to brush her teeth or go to the potty first. I find anytime I can give her a choice, i.e. what PJs she wants to wear or what she wants to do first, it helps reduce the amount of meltdowns and push back we experience as it allows her to feel more in control. After I brush her teeth, she likes to do it again herself. She then rinses her mouth with a big girl cup like her Peppa Pig Playtex® Sipsters® Cup which makes her feel grown-up like mommy and daddy! After we do those two things I dress her on the bathroom floor as it’s a smaller space and decreases her ability to roll/run away which used to be an issue in the past.Once we are dressed for bed, we then head into her bedroom and she picks out her books for the night while I turn on the reading lamps. In the past, we used to pick out only two books as that seemed to be what she could handle in terms of focus and concentration but very recently we are picking out three each night. I have always valued reading with our children and we often read throughout the day as well. #ForBetterBeginnings, I believe that it is not only a calming activity before bed which helps her settle for the night but it is also helping Ems in terms of her language development. She is already such an amazing talker and the “why” questions have begun to a whole new level lately! This time alone really gives her the space to learn as she has our undivided attention to ask all of her questions related to her books. I also constantly see her acting out with her dolls what we have read as well as using the new words we have taught her from reading in everyday settings. As a #PlaytexMom, I hope by continuing to read each night with Miss Lace and baby brother in the future, it will not only continue to develop their language skills but will also instil their desire and wish to keep reading on their own as they get older. There is nothing cuter than currently finding Miss Lace sitting in her room on her chair “reading” books to herself or more recently finding her hanging out on the bed and reading to her baby brother!
After we read books together we turn off the lamps, turn on the monitor (yes we still watch her at night to avoid her coming into our room where baby brother currently sleeps), turn on her clock, give our kisses and tuck her and her stuffies in for the night. We have taught her to stay in her bed and call for us when she needs us so she doesn’t wake up her brother by bursting into our room. In the morning when she wakes up for the day she waits in her bed until her clock turns yellow and when it does, she calls for us to come in and get her! She is really an amazing sleeper and follows our rules of waiting in her bed very well which ensures all of us get a good night’s sleep!
*This post was sponsored by Playtex Baby™ but all opinions, pictures and content are my own.